MILLBURN, NJ — As the state of New Jersey begins to re-open following the COVID-19 pandemic, Millburn welcomed back its annual farmers market, with a few major changes to keep residents safe.
Among the new measures put in place by Millburn to facilitate the return of the event, social distancing and face masks were required. Those who did not have a mask to wear were given a sanitized mask by Millburn Township staff. Additionally, police barriers demarcated a one-way only path through the market, in order to maximize social distancing.
The biggest change of all was that all stands are touchless, and the vendors at each stand were the ones handling the food for patrons.
For Karen Cummins, who manages the farmers market for Millburn Township, the turnout was better than she could have expected under the current circumstances.
"I am so happy that so many people came out today," Cummins said. "It's just wonderful to see, and it's wonderful tos ee how good everybody is about understanding and doing social distancing, wearing masks. It's like an event, because people are talking to each other, seeing people they haven't seen in a while, I think it's wonderful."
Rebekah Alstede, the farmer's market manager for Alstede Farms said that even with the no touch rules, their protocols for farmers markets have not changed too drastically.
"Our farmer's market structure hasn't changed too much, we're still producing our crops, we're still farming," Alstede said. "We always take the utmost caution with producing all our food, so the only thing that really changed is just making sure people keep their distance, and then some of these markets where we have to shop for them, make sure that we can go down the line safely [...] and help people get the produce they need."
Alstede also noted that having farmers markets back is key, as a number of revenue options are not possible at this pint in time.
The Millburn Farmers Market runs every Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Municipal Parking Lot #1. The market will run through Oct. 27, 2020.